Four Afghan civilians killed, four US troops injured in Taliban bomb attack on US convoy

A suicide car bomb that targeted U.S. troops in Afghanistan’s capital Friday morning killed four civilians and wounded several other people, including four American servicemembers.

It was the second deadly blast to rock Kabul in as many days. The four Americans suffered minor injuries from the blast, which hit a convoy of armored SUVs at about 8:30 a.m., said Bob Purtiman, a U.S. military spokesman in Kabul. He declined to comment on the convoy’s mission.

The four killed were civilian bystanders, said Nasrat Rahimi, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry. At least three other civilians were wounded.

The Taliban quickly claimed responsibility for the bombing in a statement online, saying it killed 10 U.S. troops. The group frequently embellishes or exaggerates its claims.

The suicide bomber targeted the convoy as it was passing through the Yakatot neighborhood in eastern Kabul, a mostly residential area near U.S., NATO and Afghan military compounds.

NATO and Afghan forces gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, May 31, 2019. In a second suicide attack in as many days to rattle the Afghan capital, a car bomb targeting a U.S. convoy exploded early Friday morning in an eastern neighborhood, police said.

On Thursday, several miles away, a suicide bomber on foot blew himself up outside the country’s military academy, killing six cadets and wounding 16 other people. An observant soldier prevented the attacker from entering the academy, likely saving lives, the Interior Ministry had said.

Both the Taliban and an Islamic State affiliate have carried out deadly, high-profile bombings in the capital in the past.

Suicide bombings in Afghanistan have been relatively rare so far this year, leading to a decrease in civilian casualties in the first three months of 2019. It was the lowest number of noncombatant deaths in the first quarter of any year since 2013, the United Nations mission reported in April.